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Becoming a stepparent can be challenging. It can be scary and overwhelming for both you and your future stepchildren. After a divorce, life must go on. New families form and become blended and the dynamic can be tricky.

A positive and healthy relationship between a stepparent and stepchild is paramount for the security and happiness of a family. Without it, a household can suffer, even your relationship with your new spouse may lack harmony. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are in a relationship that involves children and they’re not your own.

A fast first impression with you future stepchildren is important.

When meeting your future stepchildren, a quick meeting to say “hello” and “nice to meet you” is wise. Planning an all- day affair for the first time you meet can be stressful and emotionally draining for both you and the children. A fast first impression takes the “pressure off” because there are no expectations.

Hold off on expensive gifts

Showering your future spouse’s children with expensive gifts can backfire. This sets the stage for high expectations and can quickly lead to rejection. It’s important to establish a slow and realistic pace for the relationship to build respect and trust. This means save the lavish gifts for down the road.

Establish and maintain a secure friendship

Don’t rush the “love” for your stepchildren and try not to wonder if they “love” you back. Love needs to grow over time for both of you. Starting off as a friend, someone they can talk to, spend time with, and seek advice from is how relationships grow. Deciding how to refer to each other is a great place to start. What do you want them to call you? And you them? Remember you are not their biological parent, so as a stepparent try and be an advocate, role model or extra adult who cares about them – just like friends do for each other. The “love” for each other will grow over time.

Have a vision of your life that includes your stepchildren

If you have a picture in your head of a life with your new spouse and not his children, think again. Be realistic and accept the fact that your life will include stepchildren. Envision all areas of your life like holidays, vacations, weekends and daily routines with your stepchildren. Taking the tome to build a new family picture will help you accept your new normal.

If you need help with divorce or any family law issues in Jackson County Mi the attorneys at Rappleye & Rappleye can help. Divorce is a very stressful event in a family’s life. Our Family Law firm can help reduce your stress by putting our divorce law experience and skill to work for you.

Rappleye &Rappleye represents people in all areas of divorce and family law in Michigan and will help you through the process. Call us today for a consult!